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    Sankey’s dire warning sets off panic mode among many fans

    When the SEC’s high priest said on ESPN’s Marty & McGee on Saturday morning his level of concern about football this year was “high to very high,” naturally set off a panic.

    The Big Ten and Pac-12 Conferences have decided to cancel their nonconference games and play a conference-only schedule this season. The Ivy League, which apparently still has football as a team sport, had already pushed the season to the spring previous to those other two decisions.

    It has caused college football fans — especially in the South where it’s a near-religion — to nearly just run in circles screaming at the sky.

    Here’s what SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said on the show:

    “We put a medical advisory group together in early April with the question, ‘What do we have to do to get back to activity?’ and they’ve been a big part of the conversation. But the direct reality is not good and the notion that we’ve politicized medical guidance of distancing, and breathing masks, and hand sanitization, ventilation of being outside, being careful where you are in buildings. There’s some very clear advice about — you can’t mitigate and eliminate every risk, but how do you minimize the risk? … We are running out of time to correct and get things right, and as a society we owe it to each other to be as healthy as we can be.”

    It wasn’t an announcement. That won’t be coming for a few more weeks. But looking at positive cases rising along with numbers of tests there is cause for concern.

    With two of the Power 5 conferences going to conference-only schedules and the ACC expected to make an announcement following that, the only conferences that are expected to wait until the end of the month are the SEC and ACC.

    Athletics directors from around the SEC will be going to Birmingham on Monday for in-person meetings, which were previously scheduled and not a result of the recent conference decisions.